Our Favorite Planners, Journals, and Programs to Kickstart Your Year
We can hardly believe that this year is coming to an end. Reflecting back, this year has been huge for us. Creating the Soulful MBA and building Namastream 2.0 are easily our biggest professional accomplishments this year. Plus, our community has grown so much in the past 12 months…hearing and connecting with so many of you has helped us confirm that the work we are doing daily is meaningful and full of worth (thank you). All of us at Team Namastream are looking forward to 2017 and taking the next big steps both personally and professionally with our business.
As an entrepreneur running your own small business, there are always many moving parts. It can be very easy to get bogged down in the tasks of the day and forget to prioritize time for the big picturing strategic planning that all businesses need for growth and direction.
We have put together a roundup of a few of our favorite tools for business + life planning. As with most things in life and business, there isn’t a one-size fits all approach that works. Instead, if one of these tools seems like a good fit for you, spend a little time reading from the creator, look at reviews from users, or find a YouTube video from others who use the system and learn what is working for them. We want 2017 to be a big, impactful year for you. (By the way, did you know that there is a whole “unboxing” thing that happens with people ordering paper planners and then making YouTube videos of themselves opening the package and showing you all of the different kinds of pages and “features” of the planner? Who knew? Save yourself some time and check out our recommendations below.)
Erin Condren’s Life Planner: Erin Condren is considered by many to be the queen of planners and has created a planner for every stage of life. Her Life Planner works really well for those of you focused on creating and growing your own business. There are options to customize the layouts, so you have the planner that works best for your mindset (horizontal, vertical, or hourly). Bonus: it’s a great size to stash in a purse or laptop bag (not too heavy or bulky) and we’ve discovered some of our favorite quotes while using this planner.
Passion Planners: If you are looking for a planner that balances reflections + actions in a really simple way, this planner would be perfect. The simplicity is what makes this planner so useful. It allows you to have a spot for appointments or bookings, something that would be really helpful if you are still teaching or training in person. A creative way we have seen a fellow yoga teacher use this planner is to take her gratitude logs and incorporate them into an overall theme for the upcoming week in her classes (using the appointments layout to make notes for each class). Also, for every planner purchased, another is given away to a stranger in need.
Leonie Dawson’s Shining Year Workbooks: This yearly planner has a cult-like following of devotees who swear this is the best planner for solopreneurs out there. This was the first planner we ever used for business planning, and in the early days, being a part of the community that uses this planner was a big plus for us. When you are starting out on your own (like we were) having that additional level of connection and community was something that made this planner feel vital to our business growth.
Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner: We chose to put the Desire Map Planner in our journals because it has such a huge focus on internal reflection. (Something that most yearly planners don’t focus on.) Think of it as a planner and journal all in one for the heart-centered entrepreneur. This newer version has been created with a focus on the needs of business owners. This planner is both beautiful and durable. For something that you will have beside you each day, thrown in your bag, accompanying you on your travels (around the world or around the corner to a cafe), this is a beautiful and impactful little guide.
The Productivity Planner: While we loved the 5 Minute Journal, the same team at Intelligent Change took it a step further and created The Productivity Planner. This is the daily planner that everyone on our team uses to organize her day, by keeping us focused on the most important tasks. Not only is it a dedicated place to write down your to-do list, but the planner helps you organize each task into short, focused bursts that will help ensure you’re not diluting your attention and getting distracted by email, texting, or endless screen-scrolling. Using this planner, you can see at the end of the day just how productive you were and where you can improve for tomorrow. A really simple way to stay on track with your goals day after day, week, after week…month after month. p.s. You can download a free sample of the planner here.
Bullet Journal: Our Co-Founder, Jennifer has just started bullet journaling after trying of a few different daily planning journals. Even though it is still early days, it has made that crazy list of founder to-dos that she needs to complete daily and weekly finally manageable. Where many journals and planners are going, the Bullet Journal goes in the complete other direction – think uncluttered. The journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary. It teaches you to do more with less. Here are few videos that show what can be done with the bullet journal.
Rachel Cook’s Fired Up & Focused Challenge: Rachel Cook (once upon a time known as the Yogipreneur) has been a trailblazer in the wellness entrepreneurial space and someone we greatly respect and admire. Her Fired Up & Focused Challenge might be just the perfect jumpstart to the new year for you. Her 10-day free challenge is all about ending overwhelm and turning your dreams and desires into inspired action. The next challenge starts January 4th, so best to sign up now to ensure you have a spot.
Todd Herman’s The 90 Day Year: Todd Herman’s approach to goal setting and reaching can feel a little aggressive at times, especially to many soulful entrepreneurs. But, trust us, his methods work. His 90 Day Program stems from the concept that 90 days is the optimal period for planning and that humans cannot efficiently plan further ahead than this. The program teaches you to take on every 90 days like it is a new year onto itself. The program is currently waitlisted, so if you are interested you should grab a spot on his list. Note: this is a very expensive program, so if you’re on a tight budget, check out some of the free or more affordable options in this post.
Michael Hyatt’s This Is Your Life: We were super disappointed when we realized Michael Hyatt’s Your Best Year Ever course for 2017 had closed for enrollment already. But what is just as good is the archive of podcast episodes. The last three episodes all focused on goal-setting:
- The Real Reason You’re Afraid to Set Goals
- The Top 10 Mistakes Derailing Your Goals
- The One Essential Quality For Reaching Your Goals
If after listening to those episodes and you find that Michael’s approach to goal setting resonates with you, his book Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want might be just the read to kick off 2017. As you can see, there is no shortage of resources to help you and your business get off to a good start for 2017. Have any other planners or resources for organizing that you love and swear by? Let us know in the comments below.
If you found this post helpful, you should check out our Soulful MBA Resource Library — where we have more free tutorials, workbooks, and trainings to help you prepare to launch your online teaching business.
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